This week it emerged that the leaders of seven industry groups, representing about half a million companies, have sent a letter to the UK's Prime Minister asking for the vote on airport expansion in the South East to be tabled.
This sounds a bit like lobbyists' posturing before all UK legislative activity becomes solely engaged on the UK's EU's exit terms but it could have profound effects on Europe's business travel landscape.
The group is asking for the vote to be tabled, ie scheduled to happen before the summer recess which starts on 24 July, and Transport Industry Chris Grayling is understood to be ready to begin the process. They — and many MPs — back not only a vote but a vote to expand Heathrow, the preferred option.
On the surface the calls to expand Heathrow look like an unholy alliance of business and trade unions — leaders of the five largest UK unions have also called for Heathrow expansion for the jobs and apprenticeships it will create.
Expansion is a divisive issue — environment v business prosperity — so UK politicians of both major parties have understandably been keen to postpone any decision-making.
But the calls are strong — the letter's signatories include the heads of the Confederation of British Industry, the British Chambers of Commerce, the Institute of Directors, the Federation of Small Businesses, the EEF — The Manufacturers' Organisation, the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and airport expansion lobby group London First. The travel industry should note the timing of the multi-source calls for Heathrow expansion.
Those that want Heathrow expansion argue that London is already losing business to Schiphol and CDG. The need for a strong international hub will become exacerbated if and when Brexit happens because of British business's need to remain competitive and the Heathrow option is undoubtedly the one that would take the least time as it is already set up for international business traffic.
And therein lie the considerations for travel managers. The flying experience makes a big difference for travellers — many prefer direct flights but are willing to go for the cheaper, connecting option if the flight would be a comfortable experience.
A recent GBTA survey on the desirability of different travel perks found that 54% opted for direct flights (second only behind comfortable hotel) while 29% each cited carrier and travel class.
The carrier and routes chosen affect both the corporate's bill and the traveller's well-being. The routes available, most importantly, influence supplier sourcing. For example, will the Oneworld alliance be more attractive than SkyTeam if its only European hub is through Spain rather than a choice between France or the Netherlands?
Moreover, without expansion — and regardless of what might be the outcome for border controls — business routes in and out of Heathrow will be limited. Heathrow is not the only airport but Gatwick, London City or Stansted are not viable destinations if the other leg is on a Heathrow route or carrier.
British political shenanigans are endless but the consequences for travel managers of Brexit, from visa requirements (or not) to airport expansion (or not) are only just beginning.